Senate 2018 farm bill approved by full Senate

Bipartisan farm bill gets solid vote of 86-11 in final debate on Thursday. After a dustup Thursday over a Cuba amendment, the full Senate was able to advance its farm bill by a strong bipartisan vote of 86-11. The action brings together for conferencing two farm bills with distinct differences on how to handle nutrition assistance, payment limitations and conservation programs. The Senate voted on only a handful of amendments, while Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) did much of the approving of which amendments were allowed and could be brought together as a bloc amendment. Roberts said 171 amendments were included in

May Agricultural Prices Received Up 1.7%, Prices Paid Up .4%

May Prices Received Index Increased 1.7 Percent The May Prices Received Index (Agricultural Production), at 94.3, increased 1.7 percent from April 2018. At 89.0, the Crop Production Index increased 1.1 percent. The Livestock Production Index, at 97.7, increased 2.0 percent. Producers received higher prices for broilers, milk, hogs, and oranges but lower prices for market eggs, strawberries, apples, and calves. Compared with a year earlier, the Prices Received Index is down 3.9 percent. The Crop Production Index increased 3.4 percent but the Livestock Production Index decreased 8.5 percent. In addition to prices, the indexes are influenced by the volume change of commodities producers market.

This Week's Drought Summary (6/28)

A couple strong upper-level low pressure systems, moving in the jet stream flow, slowly crossed the northern half of the contiguous U.S. (CONUS) during this U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) week. The lows dragged surface lows and frontal systems with them. Supplied with abundant Gulf of Mexico moisture, these systems generated numerous mesoscale thunderstorm complexes which dumped heavy rain across parts of the Plains to Midwest and Mid-Atlantic coast. The clouds and rain associated with the lows and fronts also brought cooler-than-normal temperatures to the central Plains to Northeast. A moist low pressure system at the beginning of the week dumped heavy rains along the Texas Gulf coast. Contrac

Cheese prices continue to drop

Cash dairy prices plunged the week of June 18 as political and trade fallout hit and traders awaited the May Cold Storage report. Spot block Cheddar closed the fourth Friday of Dairy Month at $1.49 per pound, down 10 1/2-cents on the week, 5 cents below a year ago and down 10 3/4-cents since June 1. The barrels finished at $1.2850, down 16 1/2-cents on the week and the lowest price lowest since Jan. 16, 2018. It is 8 1/2-cents below a year ago, down 23 1/2-cents since June 1, and 20 1/2-cents below the blocks. Five cars of block traded hands on the week at the CME and 88 of barrel, the largest single week volume since the week of Dec. 15, 2017 when 97 barrels traded. The blocks dropped 4 cen

No Farm Bill Veto Threat - Senate Taking up Amendments Wednesday on CRP, Possibly Payment Limits

WASHINGTON, (DTN) -- The Trump administration on Tuesday released a statement of administration policy that did not threaten to veto the Senate version of the farm bill. The statement said the Trump administration wishes the bill included work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries, conservation changes proposed in the administration's budget and changes to food aid. In the statement, the Office of Management and Budget said, "The administration looks forward to working with the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee to address these and other issues with the farm bill as the process moves forward." The Senate is likely to move to full

Holiday grilling more affordable this year

Record meat and dairy production send retail prices lower. A cookout of Americans’ favorite foods for the Fourth of July, including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pork spare ribs, potato salad, baked beans, lemonade and chocolate milk, will cost slightly less this year, coming in at less than $6 per person, according to an American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) survey. AFBF’s informal survey revealed that the average cost of a summer cookout for 10 people is $55.07, or $5.51 per person, down slightly (less than 1%) from last year. “This is a very tough time for farmers and ranchers due to low prices across the board. It is appropriate that this very painful situation hitting farmers be reflected a

USDA Crop Progress - National Corn, Soybean Conditions Mostly Steady Despite Mixed Weather

OMAHA (DTN) -- Despite widely varied weather across the U.S., overall conditions for the nation's corn and soybeans held mostly steady last week, according to the USDA National Ag Statistics Service's weekly Crop Progress report released Monday. NASS lowered its good-to-excellent rating for corn just 1 percentage point, from 78% the previous week to 77% last week. "That is still the highest since 1999 when the good-to-excellent rating was also 77%," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. "The top two trouble states for corn are Texas and Missouri, which are showing poor-to-very-poor ratings of 25% and 16% respectively." Meanwhile, NASS' good-to-excellent rating for soybeans stayed at 73% last week.

This Week's Drought Summary (6/21)

An active weather pattern brought rain to areas of the northern Rocky Mountains, northern Plains, Upper Midwest and Southwest and along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida. The rain in the Southwest was from the remnants of tropical storm Bud, which came up the Gulf of California and brought much-needed moisture into the region. Tropical moisture also flowed inland off the Gulf of Mexico, bringing heavy coastal rains at the end of the current U.S. Drought Monitor period. A series of events brought heavy rains from Montana to Wisconsin along the northern tier of the country, with up to 6-8 inches of rain over much of Wisconsin for the week. Temperatures for the week were at or above normal f

House Farm Bill Passes - Farm Bill Squeaks Ahead After Getting Tied Up in Partisan Divide, Immigrati

OMAHA (DTN) -- In a 213-211 squeaker, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed its version of the farm bill Thursday afternoon, a month after the same exact bill went down in defeat. The farm bill got its votes, all Republican, after House leadership agreed to hold votes on immigration bills championed by conservatives. The initial immigration bill that GOP members wanted still failed earlier in the day. Democrats remained unified against the House version of the farm bill because of changes in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will make it more difficult for people without children to continue receiving assistance unless they are working or going through jo

Hello, El Niño?

Find out when odds are in favor for this weather phenomenon to emerge. It happens thousands of miles from Midwestern soil, but the weather phenomenon known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) often has a big impact on crop production in the central U.S. ENSO features three phases – El Niño, La Niña and ENSO Neutral – that are never static for long, and the winds of change may be blowing again. The latest cycle, featuring weak La Niña conditions since November 2017, has since reverted to ENSO Neutral this spring. And at least through the summer, those conditions are favored to continue, with a 90% probability of staying established May through July. After that, however, the crystal bal

Tariffs take toll on dairy prices

The cash dairy markets are weakening as fallout from last week’s announced retaliatory tariffs from Mexico, Canada and China begins to hit. The CME Cheddar blocks closed Friday at $1.5950 per pound, down 4 cents on the week and 2 cents below a year ago. The barrels finished at $1.45, down 11 1/2-cents on the week but 7 cents above a year ago. The blocks were unchanged Monday, as traders sorted out the latest retaliatory tariffs, this time from China, which includes most dairy products from the U.S. Tuesday’s Global Dairy Trade auction added to the angst. Traders took the blocks down 2 3/4-cents, to $1.5675, the lowest CME price since April 5, 2017. The barrels lost a nickel and a half Monday

USDA Crop Progress - Corn Good-to-Excellent Rating Up Slightly to Two-Decade High

OMAHA (DTN) -- The percentage of the U.S. corn crop rated in good-to-excellent condition improved slightly last week and is currently the highest in at least 20 years, according to the USDA National Ag Statistics Service's weekly Crop Progress report released Monday. NASS estimated that 78% of corn was in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday, June 17, up 1 percentage point from 77% the previous week. "That's the highest rating for corn for this time of year in at least two decades," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. "The only notable problems were in Texas, where 23% of corn was rated either poor or very poor, and Missouri, where 15% of corn was rated poor to very poor." Meanwhile, soybean

USDA Extends Application Deadline for Dairy Margin Protection Program to June 22

The Department of Agriculture has again extended the enrollment period for the revamped Dairy Margin Protection Program. The deadline, originally June first, is now June 22nd. The improved program protects participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below levels of protection selected by the applicant. USDA has already issued more than $89 million for margins triggered in February, March, and April, and USDA offices are continuing to process remaining payments daily. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said of the first deadline extension that USDA received more than 500 new enrollments from dairy operations. More than 21,000

This Week's Drought Summary (6/14)

Over the last week, dry conditions continued in the Desert Southwest and in parts of the Central Rockies, leading to drought persistence and degradation in these areas. Farther east across the Great Plains, scattered thunderstorms led to some areas improving or staying out of drought, while some areas that missed the rain were degraded. In the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains, precipitation patterns also dictated areas which experienced degrading and improving conditions. Near normal or wetter than normal conditions occurred over most of the eastern United States, where few changes to the USDM depiction were made. Northeast No changes were made in the Northeast this week. Mostly cooler than

Senate Farm Bill Advances - Changes to ARC Sidelined, But Senators Boost Dairy Programs, Cuba Trade,

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- The Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday approved a five-year farm bill. The bipartisan vote was 20-1 with only Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, opposed to the bill until he gets a payment-limits amendment considered. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who holds a seat on the committee but rarely attends meetings, showed up to announce that he wants the bill finished on the Senate floor before the Senate leaves on June 29 for its July 4 break. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said he hopes the bill will come up next week. Senate Agriculture ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., joked that the floor action will take only one hour

Cash dairy markets mixed amid trade turmoil

Cash dairy markets weakened last week, perhaps over trade and political concerns, but they rallied as the first week of June Dairy Month progressed. Block Cheddar dipped to $1.5750 per pound last Tuesday but closed Friday at $1.6350, up 3 3/4-cents on the week and a half-cent above a year ago. The barrels finished at $1.5650, up 4 1/2-cents on the week and 15 cents above a year ago. Monday’s trading left the blocks and barrels unchanged but Tuesday inched the blocks a half-cent higher to $1.64, while the barrels rolled 2 1/2-cents lower to $1.54, a dime below the blocks. Spot milk remains discounted for Class III producers, according to Dairy Market News, ranging from $1.50 to $4 under Class

USDA Crop Progress - US Corn Good-to-Excellent Rating Highest in 11 Years

OMAHA (DTN) -- The percentage of the U.S. corn crop rated in good-to-excellent condition dropped slightly last week but was still the highest in over a decade, according to the USDA National Ag Statistics Service's weekly Crop Progress report released Monday. NASS estimated that 77% of corn was in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday, June 10, down 1 percentage point from 78% the previous week. That's the highest good-to-excellent rating for this time of year since 2007, noted DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. Nationwide, corn planting was all but finished with NASS no longer reporting progress in that category on Monday. Meanwhile, corn emergence, estimated at 94% as of Sunday, was slightly ahe

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